Kirkley boss Willis knows his side face tough Leiston test

Kirkley & Pakefield boss Mark Willis. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Kirkley & Pakefield boss Mark Willis. Photo: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Kirkley & Pakefield manager Mark Willis said he would love nothing more than sharing the experience with his players of them appearing in this season’s Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup Final at Portman Road, writes Nick Garnham.

The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side will be the underdogs when they take on Bostik League Premier Division opponents Leiston in tomorrow night’s semi-final at Lowestoft Town FC, kick-off 7.45pm.

The two sides experienced contrasting fortunes on Saturday – Leiston winning 4-1 away to Staines Town to stay in the hunt for the play-offs, while mid-table Kirkley & Pakefield lost 2-1 at relegation-threatened Ipswich Wanderers.

Willis, whose side sit 14th in the table, said: “In terms of Tuesday we know what we need to do – nothing changes as we are still playing against a team a couple of leagues above us.

“They are flying at the moment and we know they have a lot of quality, but we will go into the game trying to do everything we can to get into the final. The pressure is on them as they are expected to win at a canter.

“Saturday’s result was not ideal, although we were unfortunate in certain incidents, but we have a group of players who are capable of bouncing back and we will hopefully have some luck along the way on Tuesday.

“We know we will have to be at our very best – we are going to have to have lots of players producing nines and tens out of ten – but we know we have got nothing to lose.

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“If you go back to the start of the season we had six points from our first 12 games, so we have done well to turn it around to get to where we are in the face of a lot of adversity.

“We go into the game with the carrot of possibly playing at Portman Road, and I would love nothing more than to share that experience with such a top set of lads.

“If we can create a memory like that it will be superb for everyone involved with the club.”

Admission to Crown Meadow on Tuesday is £9 for adults and £5 for OAPS and children under the age of 16.

A souvenir programme, priced at £1, will also be on sale.

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